As I am sitting here in front of BORDERS, waiting to meet my family, I am struck with a sudden sense of longing. This store has been a part of my life for many years. I’ve bought books I loved and some I hated. I’ve had countless cups of tea while writing in the coffee shop. It has been a refuge for me when I needed to get away from everything.
Now I sit in the empty parking lot. It is humbling to know that things can disappear so completely. In retrospect, I’ve seen it dwindle. First the music left. Next, the video section. It was so gradual, though, I didn’t realize the ramifications of the slow disintegration. A part of me thought it would be there forever.
I was a part of their demise. Buying online is less expensive and more convenient. However, BORDERS did not help themselves by becoming more innovative about the way they interacted with their customers. Their online presence was spotty and difficult to navigate. They didn’t change with the times.
As educators, we are all at risk for “going out of business.” If we don’t stay innovative in our approach, our students will stop paying attention. Meeting the needs of our customers while maintaining high quality product is essential. If we can’t keep up, we’ll fade, just like BORDERS did.
So, farewell, my favorite bookstore. I miss sitting in you and being surrounded by books. I hope I can learn a lesson from your closing.